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Children's Health Protection

Health Disparities Workshop Sponsors

U.S. EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP) promotes environmental health protection of children in the United States and around the world. Children in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities may be disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. For example, children of lower income families are more likely to have asthma attacks and elevated blood lead levels. To reach these disproportionately affected children, OCHP is working with the National Urban League through a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate better communication between U.S. EPA and the National Urban League, resulting in more collaborative protection of the environment and greater awareness of health issues that impact children. Also, as part of its over mission, OCHP supports the development and use indicators to track progress in protecting the environmental health of children and older adults. Since 2000 OCHP in partnership with EPA’s Office of Policy Economics and Innovation, has published two reports on children’s environmental health indicators, America’s Children and the Environment: A first View of Available Measures and America’s Children and the Environment: Measures of Contaminants, Body Burdens, and Illnesses. OCHP now wishes to further the science of developing indicators by including measures of the interaction between social and physical environment that may lead to ill health and health disparities. For more information on OCHP, see http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/homepage and to access America’s Children and the Environment indicators report see http://www.epa.gov/envirohealth/children/index.htm.

U.S. EPA's Office of Research and Development National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) serves as EPA’s focal point for scientific research on the effects of contaminants and environmental stressors for both human health and ecosystem integrity. This research helps the Agency identify and understand the processes that affect our health and environment, and helps EPA evaluate the risks that pollution poses to humans and ecosystems. One of the NHEERL projects that focuses on health disparities is the Environmental Health Workgroup (EHWG) of the Border 2012 program, run by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mexico's Environmental Secretariat (SEMARNAT). The EHWG is a border-wide workgroup that focuses on problems that transcend the US-Mexico border and are shared by multiple communities. The EHWG has funded environmental health education and training projects in pesticide handling, lead exposure reduction, and drinking water safety. It also funds epidemiologic studies, predominantly on air contaminants and respiratory outcomes. As required by the Border 2012 Goal 4, the EHWG has most recently turned its attention to identifying and testing indicators of air and water exposures and their possible health effects. The workgroup expects that the development of environmental health indicators will serve as a tool to monitor changes in the health of people living along the border, as well as to predict health outcomes associated with the environment. To learn more about NHEERL see http://www.epa.gov/nheerl/. To learn more about the EHWG, see http://www.epa.gov/ehwg.

U.S. EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice is the entity within EPA with the primary responsibility for coordinating the Agency's efforts to integrate environmental justice into all policies, programs, and activities. EPA's environmental justice mandate encompasses the breadth of the Agency's work, including setting standards, permitting facilities, awarding grants, issuing licenses or regulations and reviewing proposed actions of the federal agencies. OEJ works with all stakeholders to constructively and collaboratively address environmental and public health issues and concerns. OEJ also provides information, technical and financial resources to assist and enable the Agency to meet its environmental justice goals and objectives. To learn more about OEJ see http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is one of 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health(NIH), which is a component of the Department of Health and Human Services DHHS). The mission of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is to reduce the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes by understanding each of these elements and how they interrelate. The NIEHS achieves its mission through multidisciplinary biomedical research programs, prevention and intervention efforts, and communication strategies that encompass training, education, technology transfer, and community outreach. To learn more about NIEHS, see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/ Exit Disclaimer.

Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health is concerned with factors associated with health-related behavior and health status, and develops and evaluates educational activities designed to improve individual and community health and quality of life. The aim of HBHE is to prepare students and conduct research that is relevant and acknowledges these trends. Our multidisciplinary faculty provide students with a broad choice of courses, including those which emphasize individual, family, group, social network, community, and policy approaches to health behavior and health education. Faculty aim in their courses to integrate theory, research, and practice-through, for example, the use of case studies, small group discussions, community-based fieldwork, and computer technology. For more information on the HBHE see http://www.sph.umich.edu/hbhe/ Exit Disclaimer.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health seeks to create and disseminate knowledge with the aim of preventing disease and promoting the health of populations in the United States and worldwide. We are especially concerned with poor, often minority populations, who suffer disproportionately from illness and disability. Among health science schools, we are unique in that we place a strong emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion, rather than on the treatment of existing illness. We aspire to be a crossroads of knowledge, where ideas and people from the biological, physical, social, and managerial sciences meet. The school employs integrated approaches to solving public health problems, and teaches and promotes the ethical practice of public health.

Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health (CRECH) was established in 1998 at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (UMSPH) to lead the School's response to dramatic changes in the racial and ethnic composition of the United States.

CRECH provides a forum for basic and applied public health research on relationships among ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status and health. CRECH seeks to develop new interdisciplinary frameworks for understanding these relationships while promoting effective collaborations among public health academicians, health providers, and local communities. To learn more about CRECH see http://www.sph.umich.edu/crech/ Exit Disclaimer.

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